How To Run A Pinterest Contest

The #GEinspiredME contest, from HubSpot.

The #GEinspiredME contest, from HubSpot.

Running a contest on Pinterest is like setting up a saloon in the Wild West. Compared to Facebook there’s no overly restrictive T&Cs, and everyone is just making it up as they go along. Given the benefits in terms of traffic and referral rates, along with the continued surge in Pinterest users, this is a great platform to launch what could be a very successful online contest.

HubSpot collected some examples of successful contests on their blog, which we will go into more detail in subsequent blog posts. For now we should establish some basic guidelines for how to implement a successful Pinterest contest.

Most important is you leverage the enormous creative power of the users. The sky really is the limit here. And secondly remember the core principals about interacting with Pinterest users: always be authentic and engaging. Here are the 7 basic rules for running a Pin It To Win It (PITWI) contest:

  1. Give the board a name. Create a unique board for the contest where people can either pin images to, or they can use the category you place the contest board into to create their own.
  2. Make the title image stand out. This is the flagship image which you will put on Pinterest, your blog, and other social media platforms. Make sure its interesting and encourages people to take part.
  3. Hashtags or brand related captions. Ask contestants to put a hashtag or caption in the image description. That way you can track the entries through analytics platforms, like Pinster, and these can be used as part of a coordinated social media campaign.
  4. Set clear Terms & Conditions. Make sure both you and the contestants know exactly who is eligible, how to enter, and what the prizes are. Ensure your instructions are equally simple to follow.
  5. Tracking entries. You are going to want to be able to track entries simply and easily. This is where Pinster comes in. Our analytics can track all the images and boards being entered in your contest to give a clear demonstration of ROI, and which are the most popular. This helps if you decide to run a sweepstake or user vote based contest.
  6. Set an appropriate prize. Some brands, like General Electric, give away large prizes, like $11,000 for their #GEinspiredME contest. Others like the University of South Florida give away branded merchandise. It all depends on your brand and target customer, and budget, of course.
  7. Decide the contest type. How do you want to judge it? Getting a panel to judge could be time consuming. However it does show a brand is taking a real interest in the interactions generated through this type of contest. The alternative is to run a sweepstake (where a winner is picked at random), or involve your customers directly with a popular vote.

We will be updating you shortly with examples of some successful Pinterest contests we have found around the web. Happy Pinning!

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4 responses to “How To Run A Pinterest Contest

  1. Pingback: Pinster Blog

  2. Pingback: 3 Awesome Examples of Pinterest Contests « Pinster Blog

  3. Pingback: Unlock the Hidden Value of Pinterest | Pinster Blog

  4. Pingback: 5 Ways to Unlock Pinterest's Hidden Value for your small business

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